Saturday, 1 August 2015

The Nomadic Developer, by Aaron Erickson

Decent book on what it means to be a technology consultant and how it does (or should) differ from the role of a contractor. I'm not a technology consultant so I was reading it from an outside perspective and found the contents of the book useful still. I liked some of the general tips in the book. For example, the importance of personal appearance, being good at interviews, always learning, being easy to work with, having energy for the job, and maintaining a strong network of people inside and outside of your current employment.

Here's some quotes from the book which stood out for me in particular:

"Seniority isn't measured in years at the company, but in the number and quality of relationships developed over time."

"Starting your network when you suddenly need a new position is not the best time."

"With respect to appearance generally, this tip really comes down to the fact that people would rather work with folks who are physically, mentally, and emotionally well than people who are not."

"One of the things that separates a contractor from a consultant is the former is there to do a specific job for a specific amount of time. The latter, the consultant, is there to provide other humans with advice and guidance in addition to doing work."

"Without any discernible process, there is no way to track with consistency the accuracy of estimates, progress against a plan, or any other metric that would allow you to know how a project is doing."

"Being willing to be fired because you stand up for what you believe is right (pushing back timelines, ensuring quality, and so on) is a powerful thing."